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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This anthology series with female leads is a huge departure from CASOS
DE LA VIDA REAL and LA ROSA DE GUADALUPE and the first comment I will
make is that it's not for family viewing hour. The series looks at
women who kill, usually with an emphasis on their psychological issues
and motives. The violence is very graphic, quite realistic, and
definitely played for shock value.
The opening episode stars Leticia Calderon -- as you have never seen her before -- as a mentally ill woman who kidnaps a younger woman to torture and kill her. While her motives and backstory might otherwise have made her sympathetic, her sadism and coldness take all of that away. I won't give away the ending, but while it is intellectually satisfying it lacks the emotional satisfaction of watching villains meeting their fates in novela finales. Excellent performances by Calderon and Raul Ochoa as her creepy father, though, and adequate performances by Juan Soler as her husband, Grettel Valdez as her victim, and Nuria Bages as the victim's mother.
Other outstanding episodes in season 1 include Nailea Norvind as a Medea figure, Maria Rojo as a Mexican Mrs. Lovett, and Isela Vega as a religious fanatic who tortures and kills in the name of "purification." The episode with Natalia Esperon as a drug addict has perhaps been the biggest casting departure to date... which is one of the points of this series. Most of the actresses have little or no previous screen time as villains. It will be interesting to see Angelica Maria and her daughter take on this challenge next season.
The photography is sometimes too dark and looks as though it's meant to be a film noir or cinema verite approach. The stories are supposed to come from real cases. That works well for this series, and the combination of these elements is delivering more male viewers. This series is not for the faint-hearted. True crime buffs, however, will be in their element.
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